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Booking Better and balladins, common values at the service of hoteliers

The balladins hotel group joined Booking Better at the beginning of 2022. We wanted to know more about this network, its prospects and our common challenges through the interview of Fabrice Beyer, Sales & Marketing Director of balladins.

Can you introduce balladins in a few words ?

Balladins is a historic brand in the French hotel industry. Offering 2* and 3* hotel services throughout France, balladins has recently undergone new repositioning strategies aimed at boosting its image as a budget and mid-range hotel. We are at a turning point in our history, and we are moving forward in a thoughtful, but definite way!

How did you hear about Booking Better?

I heard about Booking Better in February 2021. The idea seemed interesting to me, especially since it is driven by an entrepreneur from Alsace, like me. So I followed the platform's evolution and its speeches for a year.

What attracted you to our initiative?

The direct booking is a daily subject in our sector of activity and in the center of our concerns in terms of distribution on Internet in particular, and the performances of our Internet site are in constant increase.  At Balladins, we are already carrying out numerous actions and strategies to promote direct booking, with concrete results for our hoteliers. However, we do not want to rest on our laurels and we want to systematically move forward to bring even more direct bookings to our hotel network. At Balladins, via our website www.balladins.com or our central reservation system, reservations are truly direct: by this I mean that, as a brand, we do not charge our hoteliers any commission on these reservations.

The Booking Better initiative is therefore a step in our direction, while differentiating itself from other platforms already in place. This willingness to go further, in the direct relationship, while taking into account the constant technological developments in our industry, makes Booking Better, in my opinion, a player of the future.

Why did you choose to join the Booking Better platform?

I believe in human relationships and in thinking together. When I met Jean-François Maes, I was won over by his vision and his ambitions. The product is one thing, its owner and creator another. And both convinced me that listing our establishments on the platform would be an added value for our brand and our hoteliers. As a national chain on a human scale, with strong values, we are of course looking to optimize our visibility, but also to support initiatives such as those of Booking Better. I am proud to know that our hotels are visible on an innovative platform, which also promotes strong values, in full awareness of the issues facing hoteliers today.

What are the values you defend with balladins ? 

For us, at the head of the balladins network, consideration and proximity with our hoteliers are essential. We know each hotelier and the specificities of his establishment. We systematically want to provide a concrete vision of hotel operations, and the fact that the company's managers were once hotel managers clearly tends to reassure. And I realize during our discussions that the approach that Balladins brings to day-to-day consulting on all subjects, which is very concrete and undeniably focused on optimizing operations, makes it unique and, above all, reassuring. And this is exactly the case with Booking Better, a platform founded by a hotelier to address his daily issues.

But also, Booking Better puts forward its values, and in a concrete way, proves it. I often like to refer to the following sentence: "Alone, we go faster. Together we go further". All hoteliers must respond to the same issues, and I am convinced that it is by uniting the strengths of each that we can respond to these issues and face the challenges that await us all.

To conclude, what is the outlook for the Balladins group? And how do you see accommodation reservations evolving in the coming years? 

The many projects underway confirm our development potential, and our hotels are performing well at the beginning of 2022, but we want to remain realistic. The period we have just gone through has reshuffled the deck and requires us to redouble our efforts. The ambitions of balladins are numerous, but above all serious. Our customers' expectations are constantly evolving and require us to rethink our idea of the hotel business. It's the same for booking methods. But I also believe that making the general public aware of the importance of direct booking for the hotelier, and of the advantages it brings them as a customer, will allow us to take back even more market share from the distributors.

As I said before, I believe in Booking Better's place in the French hotel landscape, and the subject is more relevant than ever. By federating again, and by developing the concept and the technology, Booking Better will have a place of choice. And I will be even happier to have had the opportunity to reference our brand at the beginning of 2022.

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Fabrice Beyer
Sales & Marketing Director, Balladins

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